For Allen and Andrea, environmental considerations are of paramount importance. Every element of the property is carefully positioned with this in mind—reflected most obviously in the construction of the winery and home, along with the complete utilisation of renewable energy sources (primarily solar power).
In the vineyards, both irrigation and sprays are used minimally and, to date, only sulphur-based sprays have been used. However, organic status is not something on the agenda for DogRock, preferring to reserve the ability to use other sprays should the need arise in a challenging season.
Beneath the vines, natural grasses are allowed to grow and are mown when necessary. This biodiversity helps to control disease and pests. More recently, the use of mulch has been introduced to both further improve soil structure and conserve water use. All vineyard operations, including harvesting, are done by hand.
Surrounding the vineyards, the timbered hillsides are invaluable—trees help to counterbalance prior environmental damage both within the property and on a larger scale. These unadulterated environments provide shelter for the vineyards and in the absence of grazing, indigenous plant species have been allowed to flourish. In addition to the already existing woodland, 7000 trees have been planted, rejuvenating the hillsides and impeding erosion.
At DogRock, eco practices reflect the philosophy of Allen and Andrea’s winemaking—using as little intervention as possible. Within the winery and vineyards, all water used is from rain-fed catchment, wine packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable, and the power used is 100% renewable solar energy.
In recognition of these efforts, DogRock was awarded the Powercor Grampians/Pyrenees Small Business Award for Environmental Responsibility in 2007, 2009 and 2011.